The Kountry Kitchen & Seafood restaurant serves up more than just soul food. It also dishes out a hearty side of community.
“I basically come here for the home feeling. Everybody knows you by name,” customer Tameka Walker said.
Located on Magnolia Street in Jeffersonville, population just over 1,000, the Kountry Kitchen has the feel of an old wooden cabin as you step up to the door. Once inside, your senses take over, and you’re transported to the kitchen of your childhood home.
This meat-and-three — with seafood on Fridays — has become a gathering place for a small community lacking in options for food.
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On a recent weekday, the Twiggs County Board of Education conducted its meeting in the middle of the restaurant as one board member eyed which dish she wanted to try.
Owner and operator Maurice James said four years ago he saw a need in his town for a restaurant. In October 2014, he took the leap and opened the Kountry Kitchen.
“I’ve been cooking for a long time,” James said. “I’ve been living in the area for 20 years, and (the building) has always been different restaurants, and, you know, I said if I ever got a chance, I would try it myself.”
James said running the Kountry Kitchen has given him the opportunity to grow closer with Jeffersonville residents.
“A lot of the local people I do know. They are cheering me on and are proud of me, and I am proud to be in the community,” James said. “They like to kid with me because a lot of the people I do see have actually taught me things in the kitchen, and I put my twist on those things so we go back and forth.”
Regular Cody Young said he comes by the Kountry Kitchen for lunch about four to five times a week.
“It is a good place with good food,” he said. “Good chicken, pork chops, ribs and fish on Fridays.”
Another regular, Lisa Wiley, said the Kountry Kitchen has been a “godsend for this community.”
“The Kountry Kitchen is the catalyst of my lunch every day,” she said. “You get what we are known for, hometown country feel.”
Kountry Kitchen & Seafood
Address: 201 Magnolia St., Jeffersonville
Phone number: 478-945-6000
Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Friday